Metro chief: ‘No regional need to expand the UGB’

Official recommends no changes for first time during a review period.

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Metro Chief Operating Officer Martha Bennett recently recommended no changes to the urban growth boundary.

If the council agrees, it would mark the first time the governing body did not vote to expand the UGB during a review period.

“By doing so, our region is making good on its intent to create good jobs and provide housing choices while also protecting farms and forests,” Bennett said in her email.

The recommendation was accompanied with an updated Urban Growth Report that supported it. Among other things, the updated report said the number of additional people expected to move into the urban growth boundary by 2035 can be accomodated with the construction of 120,500 new multifamily homes and 75,000 new single-family homes. The updated report said this can happen if a disproportionate number of new multifamily homes — apartments, condominiums, town homes, and duplexes — are built in Portland.

(SOURCE: Portland Tribune)

Bennett did recommend revisiting the decision in three years, instead of the customary six.

Critics of the plan have complained that Metro’s growth forecast relies on observations from the beginnings of the economic recovery. As a result, it predicts more new apartments than the historic norm, both in Portland and its suburbs, and fewer single-family houses.

But Bennett said the forecast calls for more one- and two-person households than in the past, a trend driven by millennials moving out on their own and baby boomers becoming empty nesters. It also calls for lower median incomes, following a national trend toward low- and high-wage jobs, with fewer in the middle.


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